Last Friday we drove 12 hours down to Florida for my sister’s wedding weekend. We stayed at the Lighthouse; my parents rented three Coast Guard cottages for us, them, my grandparents, aunts, and the bridal wedding party. Whirlwind trip, we drove home Monday.
These are all photos I took, and I tried to choose ones for this post that together give an overall picture of her wedding…
My three little flower girls, right before we went up to the dressing room to get ready.
(One of) my beautiful sister(s):
These were during the photo session, pre-ceremony:
(Later on, there was a cocktail hour on this terrace while the wedding party was busy with post-ceremony photos. Apparently there was a fabulous mocha punch I missed out on.)
Looking down from the terrace:
Right after the ceremony & the beginning of family photos, Cassandra & Shane with my parents:
The Dad/Daughter dance, she chose this – fitting, no?
Candy bar for party favors:
Arianna, making sure we were watching and then running off to dance:
Arianna was a maniac – danced 1.5 hours nonstop.
Into the getaway car, and sparklers! (I LOVE her bouquet in this one!)
And, the very second we buckled her carseat:
OUT.Filed under Family, Out of Town, Photo Op | Comments (3)
You start vacation this way too, right?
We’re down at the beach with some friends and I’m trying my hardest not to think about the $3,450 we’ll owe when we get home. Car repairs are soo irritating and yet so unavoidable. We are also having the bathroom floor tiled this week, which was as good an excuse as any to come down as planned. We borrowed another van.
Ari got more than she bargained for, sitting in his lap. Today was our 3rd trip to the beach; lots of pool swimming, too. And then evenings are filled with dinner and the Olympics.
What could be better?Filed under Friends, Out of Town | Comments (2)
We’ve been back for a couple of days, I’m totally unpacked (yay!), Drew’s birthday was yesterday (later post) and so I’m ready to start the new year. (You know, after I get my Christmas cards sent out.) These are random shots from our visit, before and after Christmas, excluding the ones from Drew’s party.
This is soo Adelaide:
The kids did lots of coloring,
(with only one disaster involving Arianna, lesson learned),
hanging out with Papa,
taking care of new babies,
going to the library (not shown), playing the leappads,
and I got to have lunch with Mer. :)
That night Andy and I had a date at PF Chang’s (yum) and then went to Mission Impossible 4. Very fun. Saturday was spent celebrating Drew and packing and then we got a babysitter for 4 of the kids and went out to dinner with my parents for New Year’s Eve.
Too bad Ethan won’t remember all the fun things he gets to do.Filed under Family, Out of Town | Comments (6)
If we’re FB friends, you might have already seen all these. Sorry! Anyway, they were resized/edited in Picnik, saved to FB, and then transported back to Picnik to make this slideshow. (So I’m not sure about the quality, but you get the general idea of our trip.)
And sorry for just disappearing for so long here!!
I’m back home, sitting again at my dining room table, thinking about our last two days of vacation. (And trying not to be weepy.)
Saturday was overcast and rained a bit on and off all day, so we took the kids to the cove instead of to the beach. They ended up jumping in the bay, IN THEIR CLOTHES. (I knew it was coming the minute they rolled their pants up and pretended to wade in with just their feet.)
We probably should have just saved ourselves the trouble and gone, in suits, straight to the beach. I had to go back to the house for a stack of towels and they all had to get an extra bath. And, obviously, there was lots of extra dirty laundry. But, they LOVED it. (And I get Fun Mom of the Year.)
Once the kids were down for a nap, Andy and I realized we hadn’t had any lunch. We left for an early dinner (to make up for my birthday dinner; when all else fails, go to Chili’s). When we got back the kids were awake and had been fed, so we loaded everyone up and went out for gelato. It was a perfect last-night outing.
We took the kids back to the beach for an hour in the morning before we had to check out of the house. I brought my camera and got few last shots of the beach, some with the kids riding their boards. As you can see, the waves were still really choppy from the weekend storms.
Practicing her ice skating landings (except that she’s 3 and has no idea what ice skating even is):
Notice the band-aids. She fell on the way to the beach and suffered quite a bit of sidewalk sand-rash. Poor girl.
Andy going out for his last run:
SUCH a great trip. But glad to be home. (I think.)Filed under Out of Town, Photo Op | Comments (2)
So, as you can see, I did get a new design. (Feedreaders and email subscribers will have to click through to see.) A few of you snuck a peek before it was finished and actually, it’s still only at about 95%. But, even so, I’m very happy with it! (Thanks, Jo-Lynne!)
I left my camera here at the house yesterday and just enjoyed being in the moment with my kids and frying myself laying in the sun. Drew was a crazy maniac on the boogie board; Andy was a little shocked at how enthusiastically he got into it. Fun to watch. The storms were blowing in so the waves were higher but the sandbar was really shallow.
In the afternoon Andy took Madeline to this little beach memory shop and let her pick out one thing. She’s been begging ALL WEEK to go buy a shell there. She ended up picking a stuffed dolphin instead. (I shouldn’t have been surprised.)
We didn’t get dinner in the oven on time so we ended up getting a couple of pizzas. Some friends were supposed to come spend the weekend with us and decided it was too much; so we ended up with more of a down night.
I’m off to enjoy our last full day of vacation! (And my coffee!)Filed under Out of Town, The Land Called Blog | Comments (7)
I’m going to try to wrap up the rest of our trip in one post, using The Handy Bullet Format.
- On Friday morning Andy and I met my cousin Bryonie and her husband Josh for coffee and bagels at Einstein’s. (It was the first time being with them in person since they lost their precious babies in the spring.) The Lord really blessed our time together and we all had a great time of fellowship and fun. They came with us to pick up Drew and Madeline from VBS and then we went back to my parents’ house. Visits are rarely long enough, but at least we got to spend half the day with them.
- My mom had wanted to take my kids to the North Pole/Santa’s Workshop, since we used to go there as kids. We stopped there Friday afternoon on our way up to the cabin, and then when the cashier rang up the admission price of $85 for all of us for the mere two hours we’d be there, we turned around and left. I mean, really. So we stopped for ice cream instead and then drove straight to the cabin.
- My mom roasted marshmallows for the kids that night in the fireplace. I think Madeline ate about eleven.
- After the kids were tucked away in their beds, we played a rousing game of Taboo. The twins are never allowed on the same team. I mean, fair is fair.
- I had a very hard time breathing at 9,000 feet and woke up twice during the night in a near-panic. I’m sure it didn’t help being pregnant.
- Saturday my dad took Andy, my sisters, and their friend Patrick 4-wheeling. Drew was supposed to go but chickened out at the last minute. I was so not surprised. I think it was because he wasn’t going to be buckled in a proper car seat and the boy loves following the rules. He also didn’t like that they were driving on grass.
- When they got back we took a walk to see the horses.
- Andy and dad fished a lot of Saturday. I took a nice long nap.
- Bry and Josh got back up to the cabin in the afternoon, so we had tea together. My grandparents and Aunt Becki also came up to have dinner with us so it turned out to be a good-sized crowd.
- We played Taboo again after dessert and every last adult played. (Why is “wonderbra” on one of the cards?)
- My dad, sisters, and Patrick stayed up there Saturday night but my mom and our little family drove back to their house and didn’t get home until midnight. Fortunately my parents’ church service starts a little later and we made it there (mostly) on time.
- My grandparents had all of us over to their house for lunch, including my Uncle Miles and his family. Drew found a new buddy in my cousin Julia (he didn’t seem to notice she’s about 15 years older.) We had our dessert out on the deck and Madeline pretty much just ate whipped cream. She licked it off the cake and strawberries and then kept asking for more. Aunt Becki came to the rescue with a spatula and scraped the bowl for her.
- Our drive home Monday was uneventful, save for our DVD player breaking late that afternoon. Adelaide probably pushed too many buttons with her toe and the thing decided it had had enough.
- We stopped in St. Louis and stayed with my cousin Courtney and her hubby. Too short a visit, but glad to see them anyway.
- Got home late afternoon yesterday and went straight to pick up Andy’s car from the shuttle service. I went immediately after to Walmart for a fridge/pantry re-stock and I’m so glad I did because that meant I didn’t have to go anywhere today. We had also cleaned out the car (Drew vacuumed, one of his favorite things) and got almost everything unpacked. It’s nice to start mostly from scratch the day after a long trip.
Drew had his big day-o-golfing with Daddy and Papa yesterday. Andy and Dad golfed for real while he was at VBS and then my mom and I dropped him off after a quick bite to eat. (Chick-Fil-A of course.)
They did a 3-par course, which was perfect for the little guy. I wish I had thought to drop off my camera as well.
(Because I’m sure we would have all loved to see pictures of him chasing the geese…an impulse he apparently inherited from his father.)
They stopped for chocolate shakes at Sonic on their way home, so needless to say, Drew was riding high on life yesterday. He only had a mild fit when we told him he couldn’t finish the entire thing before naptime.
(And what do you think was the very first thing out of his mouth upon waking up?)
I enjoyed a quiet afternoon here, which I needed after running around like crazy the last few days. When my sisters got home from work, my mom, Cassandra and I went over to my grandma’s house for a little impromptu tea party. Which, you know, are really the best.
Andy, Cassandra, and I took Drew and Madeline to see “Earth” last night at the $1.50 theater. We got there a little late and were forced to sit down near the front, and then as soon as we had sat down, Madeline looked up and exclaimed “TURTLE!!”
Five minutes later, “FOX!!!” And then after two beautiful scenes of flowers, “it looks like the ‘Secret Garden’!!” Our shushing her clearly wasn’t meaning much. (There were other kids there so it wasn’t a big deal.)
But then she and Drew started begging for water (what do you know, salty popcorn makes one thirsty) and we had a few up-and-downs for that. I’m just thankful the entire tub of popcorn didn’t spill or something equally as embarrassing.
On the way home Drew started asking about the rest of his shake again, and we told him it would be nice of him to share some with Madeline. She piped up with “I’m only going to eat a teeny, tiny bite because you got your special shake from McDonalds.” (Sonic.)
Drew, a touch condescendingly: “Madeline, that’s exactly right.”
And the grown-ups died laughing.Filed under D is for Drew, Family, Out of Town | Comment (0)
Vacations usually slip by too fast, and this week is no exception. Andy and I were able to go out to lunch alone yesterday, to one of my favorite little French cafes. I remember going there with my mom and grandmother when I was little. Yu-mmy.
Afterwards we met the kids and my mom, grandma, and aunt at the playground where they were having a picnic. We stayed too long there because the SECOND we got to the pool, they closed it due to thunder. Drew had a total meltdown, which is actually really unlike him.
His day was redeemed later since we ate dinner over at my uncle’s house and they have a hot tub:
And now it’s Thursday already. Sniff.Filed under Out of Town | Comments (2)
Last year when I came to visit my folks, I got to meet Mer (Life at 7000 Feet) in real life for lunch one day. So as soon as I started planning this trip, I knew we HAD to meet up for lunch again. And yesterday was the day.
My kids have been in VBS every morning this week, so my mom took Adelaide for me and I drove up to meet Mer at a tea house. It was a gorgeous day and we ate outside:
But then we decided that wasn’t enough time together so I ended up going back to her house, we took her daughter Sarah over to her little friend’s house, and then sat in her kitchen for two more hours and had leftover ice cream cake.
(Mer- thank you so much for lunch, for being honest and real, and being such a good friend!)
Right before I left my mom called saying my van wouldn’t start.
OH THAT’S JUST LOVELY.
Remember when it wouldn’t start before and we had it towed to the shop and it ended up being nothing but us trying to use the wrong key? Well, my mom had stopped at Walmart yesterday and had two spare keys made. Problem is they weren’t the dealer keys with the programmed computer chip. Which meant they also wouldn’t start my car.
She didn’t know that.
She called back later to tell me she had gotten it to start again, and then mentioned about the new keys, and it all clicked into place. I’m surprised Walmart didn’t tell her those keys wouldn’t drive the car, but whatever. I explained it wouldn’t start for her before only because she was using one of those new non-chip keys. I WAS SO RELIEVED. Car repairs on vacation are never any fun.
Also at Walmart, she picked up Razor scooters for Drew and Madeline. My grandparents’ neighbor’s kids have them and Drew had found his new love. Problem is he only got to ride it once and has been talking about it ever since.
Enter grandma and the problem is solved! I’m just praying they don’t kill themselves because have I mentioned that Madeline is clumsy?
And then to round out the day, Andy and I went to see The Proposal after dinner. He thought it was just as funny as I did.
Which is convenient.Filed under Friends, Out of Town | Comments (6)
Usually I go on vacation and have a ton of pictures of the kids and possibly Andy, but there are never any of me. Isn’t that the life of the mother? So after church on Sunday we took a bunch of Sunday-best photos and I made sure I was in some of them with my kids.
So, since we really didn’t do anything newsworthy yesterday (besides picking Andy up from the airport and doing a little shopping), I thought I’d post a few of Sunday’s pictures today.
Filed under Family, Out of Town, Photo Op | Comments (8)
We took the kids swimming yesterday and I really thought we’d end the day with a trip to the ER.
The pool had both a diving board AND a slide. My girls were enamored with the slide. It was one of those older ones that have a steep ladder of about eight rungs, and the slide itself has a pretty steep incline. I could just picture Adelaide slipping off a step at the top and falling backwards onto the concrete below.
But she would NOT be deterred.
The girl has no fear. So my mom and I took turns standing behind her on the ladder as she clambered up and then she’d sit herself down at the top and, seriously, FLY down the slide. Rinse and repeat about 20 times.
Madeline was a little more nervous her first three times and then she was up and down as often as Adelaide. Drew took way more convincing, and I kept telling him he didn’t HAVE to go on the slide.
But what self-respecting boy is going to be shown up by his two little sisters?
The diving board, believe it or not, didn’t give me quite the nervous breathlessness as the slide did and they jumped off that plenty, too. Adelaide jumps as far as her stubby little two-year-old legs will get her, goes under about three feet, pops up (THANK YOU FLOTATION DEVICE INVENTOR), and “swims” back to the side. You really can’t believe it, she’s so teeny.
I have a feeling I’m going to be the mom chauffeuring her kids to water parks when they hit junior high.
(That and high-dive lessons.)
After dinner my sisters watched my kids (just like old times!) and my grandparents, parents, aunt, and I went to see The Proposal. Hilarious. Gorgeous Alaskan scenery. I absolutely recommend it if you like romantic comedies, otherwise known as chick flicks.
And then I promptly fell into bed.
(What am I, 80?)
(In my defense, the altitude is totally kicking my rear.)Filed under Family, Out of Town | Comments (7)
Are we EVER in the Land of Dry. I’m going to need a gallon of lotion just to see us through the week. It’s the kind of thing that makes your eyes burn and I’ve already got a patch of dry flaky skin on my cheek.
A little bit of a shock, even if expected, coming from the South where you don’t need lotion because it’s so humid. Madeline’s curls have even fallen out, turning into a messy sort of wave.
We got to my mom’s yesterday afternoon. When my sisters got home from work, they wasted no time in taking the kids out to play and showed the kids this new trick:
My grandparents live down the street, so we went over there for dinner last night. My kids got to sit up at the bar (which they thought terribly exciting):
My aunt made the yummiest chicken enchiladas but they should have come with the pregnancy heartburn warning label “FIRE, FIRE! PROCEED WITH CAUTION OR YOUR STOMACH WILL HATE YOU LATER!”
And then we got to watch some natural beauty like this:
And “borrowed” my grandparents’ neighbor’s toys:
This morning we’ve been playing puzzles (which have their names personalized into the picture, courtesy of the grandparents):
My girls have been in heaven with my sister’s makeup drawer(s) and having their aunts around to do things like apply glitter and paint nails:
(Aren’t chubby two-year-old hot pink nails the cutest? You should see her toes.)
And we’ve been messing up the Post-It notes:
The things you get away with at Grandma’s.
I’m telling you, the fun never ends.Filed under Family, Out of Town | Comments (3)
Except that we are, in fact, still in Kansas. We’ve driven over 800 miles and the kids have been so, so good. It helps to have DVD players in the car, is all I’m sayin’. And coloring books. And matchbox cars.
We’ve had gorgeous weather and almost no traffic. The sunset was beautiful and you could see it stretching for miles across the flat plain. We’re about 15 minutes from where we’re staying tonight and we’ll all be thankful to be out of the car for a while.
Memorable quote from today: “No, Mommy doesn’t have to call Grandmommy ‘Grandmommy’ because she’s a big girl so she can just call her ‘Mom’” – Drew.Filed under Out of Town | Comments (7)
(Alternate title: The cat hates me.)
So here I am in the Deep South, visiting Dolly and trying not to lift a finger. (Vacation is not for finger-lifting, you know.) She also has a kitten and I’ve been painfully reminded of how allergic I am to the feline species.
(She left to pick up Chinese for dinner last night, asking if she should pick up some Claritin for me while she was out. I thought I’d be okay and brushed her off. And then as soon as she pulled out of the driveway, I sneezed at least fifteen times in a row. I immediately called her back and begged for mercy Claritin.)
Today we lazed around here (we’re good at lazing around) and then took the kids to a park. Came back for lunch and naps and then ran over to Costco to grab a pizza for dinner.
Dolly also ordered the two of us mocha freezes to enjoy while we browsed (I mean, why not? we had to wait for the pizza to bake, after all) and as soon as we had walked away from the counter, my arm got bumped by a child’s head and my mocha crashed dramatically all over the floor.
(And I’m sure it warranted all fifty-gazillion paper towels the employee threw down on the floor. Hmph. At least they gave me a new one for free.)
Our shopping trip continued in much the same fashion; children arguing over sips of my drink and who got to push the cart, Madeline’s toes getting run over, and Adelaide first protesting sitting up in the seat of the cart and then kicking Drew when he got too close. Oh, and him pouting and hurt because I wouldn’t let him push the cart since he can’t even see over the top and kept ramming both product displays and innocent people.
At one point I said out loud to no one in particular, “who are these children? Ain’t never seen ‘em before.”
I managed to get a set of summer pajamas for Drew and a darling smocked church dress for Madeline. (Costco: The One-Stop Shop.) Dolly made out pretty well, too. We got our pizza and headed home, both of us glad not to have to cook.
Tonight after everyone was bathed and tucked in (and repeated requests for potty stops and drinks of water were dealt with), we popped in a movie and the evil spirit within her cat came out to taunt me.
That cat is seriously out to get me. He jumps and lands on me out of NOWHERE, digging his claws into my unsuspecting legs and feet and I about jump out of my skin from shock. Rinse and repeat at least a dozen times. He’s seriously about to give me a heart attack, or at least a nervous breakdown. Don’t be fooled by his look of kitten innocence.
(And just because he’s the size of a squirrel doesn’t mean he can’t do some serious damage with those tiny razor claws. I’m telling you, don’t be fooled!)
Although, I bet Max could take him.Filed under Friends, Out of Town | Comments (9)
So, yes, we are here visiting my friend Dolly while her hubby is off cavorting at Disney World, (and feigning attendance at an orthodontic conference). We drove down on Thursday.
Yesterday we met Kristen (This Classical Life) at a local park and even though it was cut short due to drizzling rain, it was really fun to finally meet her IRL and her kids are simply adorable. And they love donuts, so clearly they’re our kind of people.
Other than that, there has been lots of making messes, dressing up, and tractor-pushing going on. When we finally get the six (six!) kids to bed each night, D and I have been watching Masterpiece Theatre’s productions of a couple of Jane Austen’s works.
First was Mansfield Park and last night was Persuasion. See why I come here? We speak the same language.
And the coffee’s really good.Filed under Friends, Out of Town | Comments (5)